“Kevin Hart is stepping down as Oscars host just two days after the Academy announced he would take on the high-profile gig,” reports the Hollywood Reporter.
THR’s story, by Gregg Kilday and Seth Abramovitch, continues, “The move came amid a mounting controversy after old tweets surfaced in which Hart expressed anti-gay sentiments and used homophobic terminology and slurs.”
Hart told the world he is stepping down Thursday evening in two tweets. The first one reads, “I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscar’s….this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”
Hart quickly added in a second tweet, “I’m sorry that I hurt people.. I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.”
THR explains that “Earlier in the evening, Hart had posted an Instagram video from Sydney, Australia, where he is touring, saying that he had refused a demand from the Academy to apologize. He said the Academy gave him an ultimatum: apologize for his old tweets or step down as Oscars host.”
Finally, THR noted this irony: “[I]n giving up the hosting spot, Hart actually offered the apology that earlier he had refused to provide.”
No comment as yet from the Academy, THR says.